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The Jumblies Book

The Jumblies Book

Item # 28533


Edward Lear (English, 1812Ð1888) was a highly respected painter by trade, but today he is perhaps best known for his nonsense poems. His ÒThe JumbliesÓ had great appeal for Edward Gorey, because, as Gorey said, it Òwas taught to me by my grandfather when I was four or five, and it has always been one of my favorites. Since Lear himself made only one small drawing for it, it occurred to me that I might illustrate the whole poem.Ó Gorey was so taken with LearÕs words that he dedicated his drawings to Foss, Mr. LearÕs cat.

The crux of the tale is this: the infinitely endearing and always happy Jumblies decide to set sail over rough seas in a sieve, and so they go, despite concerns from their kin who elect to stay home. Are they brave or ridiculous? Perhaps neither; LearÕs poem makes a good case for the saying, ÒIgnorance is bliss.Ó

ItÕs impossible not to love Edward GoreyÕs interpretation of the wee Jumblies, exquisitely rendered in his signature pen-and-ink crosshatching. His twenty pristine drawings combined with LearÕs fanciful verse make The Jumblies a perfect delight, and one to revisit, again and again. But donÕt stop here: youÕll want to learn more about the JumbliesÕ saga in The Dong with a Luminous Nose, another Lear/Gorey masterpiece.

Text by Edward Lear; illustrated by Edward Gorey. 48 pages with 22 black-and-white illustrations. Smyth-sewn casebound book with jacket. Size: 8 1/2 x 6 inches.

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